Scorching Knife, a brand new digital music journal, is sponsored by the Kelly Author’s Home.
Credit score: Derek Wong
Faculty senior Sof Sears has based Scorching Knife, a brand new digital music journal.
Sears described the journal, which is sponsored by the Kelly Writers Home, as a “literary journal with a deal with music.” They sought inspiration for Scorching Knife from author Hanif Abdurraqib, utilizing his writing as a mannequin for the journal’s content material.
“[Abdurraqib] meshes music criticism, inventive nonfiction, and poetry in a manner that’s actually stunning and troublesome to search out,” Sears stated. “Scorching Knife emerged out of my need to search out extra work that follows this model.”
Faculty first 12 months and Scorching Knife Managing Editor Mia McElhatton stated that Abdurraqib’s model permits the author to precise a private connection to the music in a manner that isn’t attainable in conventional music criticism.
“The model is way more concerning the writer’s personal relationship with the music and the highly effective pressure that music can have in our lives compared to only a easy critique,” McElhatton stated.
Sears additionally cited their need to push the boundaries of the music and artists who’re included in mainstream music journalism, expressing frustration with standard music publications like Rolling Stone and Pitchfork — who they stated typically disproportionately cowl straight, white artists.
“I wished to get out of that white, ‘dudebro’ mentality of writing about music as a result of I feel it’s typically very reductive,” Sears stated.
Sears pitched the concept for Scorching Knife to the Kelly Writers Home employees within the spring of 2022, and it was permitted quickly after.
Sears emphasised how a lot the KWH employees supported them by the method, explaining that “[the staff] have been so invested in serving to me with the method in no matter manner they might.”
The journal launched its first digital content material in October. At present, the employees consists of 5 individuals who edit, promote, and launch the journal’s content material. Submissions are accepted from college students at each Penn and different universities.
The journal’s content material is launched irregularly. Sears emphasised that they don’t seem to be looking for to maximise content material manufacturing, as a substitute specializing in submissions that align with their imaginative and prescient.
“If you need an easy live performance overview, you may go to Pitchfork,” Sears stated. “What’s most essential to me is that every piece we produce is considerate and attention-grabbing.”
Faculty first 12 months and Contributing Editor Eve Rosenblum, who’s within the strategy of beginning to write live performance protection for Scorching Knife, stated that she has been excited by the chance to strive a type of journalism that doesn’t have strict guidelines.
“It’s so thrilling to have full inventive liberty,” Rosenblum stated. “I feel it additionally speaks to the expertise of music as effectively. It’s so distinctive to the person, so I feel it is smart to write down about it in a manner that expresses that individuality.”
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To help in producing content material, Sears has been working to develop mutually helpful relationships with native bands and feminist public relations teams who present their companies freed from cost to indie artists. They’re additionally hoping that the journal will host at the very least one occasion per semester to characteristic queer pupil musicians and native bands.
Sears emphasised that above all, Scorching Knife is their “ardour venture.”
“If the underclassmen concerned with the journal wish to proceed it subsequent 12 months, I feel they completely ought to,” Sears stated. “However I really feel freed to not have a powerful sense of urgency or stress. I simply wish to publish the widest array of various views that I can whereas I’m right here.”